Bill O’Reilly had a ball with Donald Trump, his good friend of three decades, on his cable-news-leading Fox News program last night. It was a good night to have the presumptive Republican presidential nominee on camera, considering that there’s a delegate revolt afoot; his poll numbers are awful; he’s still reeling from ridiculous remarks he made after the Orlando massacre; and he just ousted campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.
On that last topic, O’Reilly asked, “What happened?” Trump responded with boilerplate — that Lewandowski was “terrific” and that it’s now time to run a different sort of campaign. Perhaps determined not to extract a newsworthy comment from Trump, O’Reilly followed up with this: “So it’s a different style….You know, in any campaign, there’s, like, power, you know, backstabbing and everybody’s vying for your attention and — you care about that — office politics? You care about any of that?”
The Erik Wemple Blog took particular pains to manually transcribe that question from O’Reilly for the sake of emphasis: This is what the King of Cable News sees fit to ask a proven liar, bigot and racist. And also for the record, this is the response that the office-politics question fetched from Trump: “Well, it happens all over, you talk about office politics. It’s all over, and yeah, it does happen here too. It happens everywhere. And I’m pretty good at it. I pretty much see where it’s coming from.”
O’Reilly: “Yeah we saw that on ‘The Apprentice.’ ”
Trump: “Yeah, no, it happens, I mean, that’s part of life. That’s part of business. It’s part of the social fabric of life also, in case we don’t want to talk about it. But that’s part of life.”
From there, the two talked about the mechanics of the vice-presidential pick. They talked about the greatness of Newt Gingrich. They talked about maybe naming some possible Cabinet members before the Republican convention. They attempted to diminish Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). “Would you step across the aisle and maybe try to convince Sen. Warren from Massachusetts to come and be the ambassador to Tonga or someplace like that?”
Yuks could be heard from the “O’Reilly Factor” studio. More Warren-related giggles followed. The only things missing were the vanilla milkshakes.